The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced its lending numbers for fiscal year 2018 (FY18), highlighting that it guaranteed more than $30 billion to small businesses that it says would not have had access to capital otherwise.
“We are providing tools, resources and access to capital for America’s 30 million small businesses, and our FY18 numbers bear that out,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs have never been more dynamic, easy to use and accessible — helping small businesses succeed and thrive. Our loan programs in FY18 continue to show strong performance, and we believe the President’s tax cuts and deregulatory actions will help more small businesses grow and prosper in the coming year.”
According to the SBA, during the FY18 period, there were 60,353 7(A) loans made, with a total dollar amount of $25.37 billion. This is through the Administration’s flagship program, which is designed to provide loans of up to $5 million on what it deems to be “reasonable terms and conditions,” including land or equipment acquisition or working capital.
The Administration touted its 504 program’s “high performance for lending,” saying it provided 5,874 loans, valued at $4.75 billion.
During the FY18 period, SBA also launched its new 25-Year Debenture, an offering that provides small businesses with an extra 60 months of financing at a fixed rate. In its announcement, SBA reported that over 1,000 debentures had been sold between the April launch and the end of September. William Manger, the Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access, said he was pleased to see over $1 billion had been disbursed in less than six months.
The SBA also saw significant growth in smaller loans, achieving a record amount of dollars lent in its Microloan and Community Advantage Programs. The Administration approved over $72 million in its Microloan program and over 1,000 loans, for over $150 million, in its Community Advantage program.
The Administration acknowledged that technology played a significant part in its lending momentum, pointing to its Lender Match platform, which allows business owners to complete an online form and be connected with an approved lender within two days. According to the Administration, this platform alone has helped to generate 3.6 million leads for lenders and over 160,000 unique borrowers.
Additionally, the SBA’s Franchise Directory, launched in 2018, resulted in a reported 50-plus percent increase in eligible franchise brands. The directory features over 3,000 brands. On a related note, the SBA says there has been a 21-percent year-over-year increase in 7(a) and 504 dollars going to franchises.
In November, the SBA announced a collaboration with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to launch a program that offers intensive management and leadership training to veterans who are entrepreneurs. McMahon said the program is tailored to leverage the skillsets of America’s veterans, while also providing them with the resources they need to “take their companies to the next level.”